Archipelago International, Southeast Asia’s largest privately-owned and independent hotel management group has joined The Code organization, which is committed to fighting sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The new partnership was made official during a signing ceremony at The Grove Suites by GRAND ASTON on 8. April.

MILLIONS OF CHILDREN AT RISK

As stated on The Code’s website, thecode.org, an estimated 223 million children under the age of 18 experienced sexual exploitation or other forms of sexual violence according to a UN Global Study. Every year, millions of children are traded for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Many offenders take advantage of hotel facilities to commit their crimes, which is why The Code works with the travel and tourism industry to keep children safe and end the impunity of offenders.

ARCHIPELAGO STANDS UP AND SENDS A MESSAGE

“Children are our most invaluable asset and it is very sad to see what is happening to so many of them all over the world. When we heard about The Code, we immediately knew that we wanted to partner with them and support their cause. As the largest hotel operator in the region, we have a responsibility and we take this issue very seriously. While all of our hotels have always had policies in place already, we have decided to take this a step further and become an official member of The Code. We have successfully met their required criteria and are proud to be officially part of this movement. Furthermore, we continue to look for additional ways to get involved and inspire others to join us.” says John Flood, President & CEO of Archipelago International.   

Before a hotel organization can join The Code, it needs to meet six criteria, which include the establishment of a strong hotel policy and procedures, training of all hotel employees, the inclusion of a clause in contracts (e.g. supplier contracts, etc.), provision of information to hotel guests, engagement of all stakeholders and the annual reporting on implementation. For details visit thecode.org.

The signing ceremony, that followed strict Covid-19 health and safety protocols, included members of Archipelago International, ECPAT, a child-protection organization that is active in over 100 countries and is the representative of The Code in Indonesia (ecpatindonesia.org), officials of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection and various media representatives.